Around The Capitol

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THE Nooner for December 3, 2017


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Happy Sunday!

GOV: The six major gubernatorial candidates appeared together yesterday in a candidates' forum at the annual convention of the California School Boards Association, reports Paul Sisson for the Times.

There was a fair amount of agreement on the stage Saturday morning. All candidates said they believe in the value of public education and in the sanctity of the close-to-home control that local school boards provide. And everyone agreed that something needs to be done about the state’s perennial low national rankings on student performance measures.

But they differed on how the Golden State should turn its educational situation around.

Reports I got from delegates in the hall told me that Delaine Eastin clearly showed her education prowess and the loudest support, although each of those delegates I spoke with already support another candidate.  

That's Delaine's problem. Running from the position of Superintendent of Public Instruction, or more so former SPI, is very difficult. In fact no SPI has ever become governor. At 3% in the PPIC poll--including the same 3% among both men and women--she admirally continues making her way around the state to tout the need for attention to our schools.

Also, candidates are not allowed to use the word "former" in their ballot designation. Eastin can't list "Former Superintendent of Public Instruction" and Villaraigosa can't use "Former Mayor of Los Angeles." In her most recent campaign finance filing, she listed her occupation as "Speaking Consultant." As a campaign advisor, I would tell her to lean on a community college to give her a part-time one class teaching assignment and she could be listed as "Educator." When I was a community college advocate, I hated it, but lots of great legislators were elected through that strategy.

Candidates frequently lean on me for non-compliant ballot designations on AroundTheCapitol. I'll admit that I'm inconsistent. For recent councilmembers or school board members I'll list former, even though it's non-compliant, just so visitors know who the people are. As soon as the official ballot designations are published by the Secretary of State, I change them to the the official ones.

Continuing her tour is expensive and it hits home. Since July 1, she has received only two $5,000+ donations--one for $5,000 from a Folsom homebuilder and the other of $100,000 from Delaine herself.

HARASSMENT: The Times's Jazmine Ulloa reports on the questions left unanswered following Tuesday's hearing on the Assembly Rules subcommittee looking at policies and procedures relating to sexual harassment and abuse in the Capitol. 

In an almost five-hour subcommittee meeting — the first of its kind by either legislative house — staffers and lobbyists said procedures in the state Capitol have for years protected those in power, leaving victims in fear of retaliation.

The testimony also revealed that the chamber has an opaque process to report and investigate claims, no measures to track complaints and blurry ethics standards for elected officials.

This morning on Meet the Press, presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin credited young women for bringing the issue of sexual harassment and abuse to a top spot of the nation's agenda. And, we know that there's been no stronger effort than the #wesaidenough campaign here in Sacramento. 

LOOKING FOR A THIRD WAY: In his Sunday column, the LAT's John Myers looks at the PPIC poll results and writes that California's voters are disatisfied with their choices between the Democratic and Republican parties. 

Sixty-two percent of Republicans in the poll said it’s time for a third party to rival the powers that be, compared with 59% of Democrats. Not surprisingly, the sentiment is even stronger among “independent” California voters who don’t register with a party — 72% said the two big political parties aren’t making the grade.

In all other subsets of voters — by age, ethnicity, high school or college graduates and more — just 36% or fewer think the two-party system is working. The message seems loud and clear.



NOT SO "GOLDEN" TO GOP IN CONGRESS: In the Chron, Joe Garafoli and Kathleen Pender write that the tax bill, already not so kind to California, is unlikely to get any better for the Golden State as the bill is reconconciled in conference committee. 

The elimination or reduction of two popular tax breaks affects California more than other states, where property values and taxes are lower.

The bill eliminates the deduction for state and local income or sales taxes, and caps the deduction for property taxes at $10,000. More than 6 million Californians take advantage of that deduction, slicing an average of $18,438 per family off of their tax bill annually.

The Senate bill allows taxpayers to claim a mortgage interest deduction on mortgage debt up to $1 million. The House version limits it to $500,000 — and eliminates that deduction for loans on second homes.

SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD: The LAT's Steve Lopez writes about how those who are fleeing Southern California's high cost of living are doing in their destination regions, and finds that they are quite happy, although California will survive.

Solid recent data is hard to come by, but 2016 census figures showed an uptick in the number of people who fled Los Angeles and Orange counties for less expensive California locales, or they left the state altogether.

. . . 

Some companies have made the move from California, and others have set up satellites in Nevada. California, a world economic power, will survive the raids, and it will continue to draw people from other states and around the world. Its assets include cutting-edge tech and entertainment industries, major ports, great weather and dozens of first-rate universities.

But the Golden State is tarnished and ever-more divided by a crisis with no end in sight, and this year’s legislative efforts to spawn more housing for working people lacked urgency and scale. Slowly, steadily, and somewhat indifferently, we are burdening, breaking and even exporting our middle class.

As a native Oregonian, I hear whenever I'm visiting family up there how many Oregonians (not my family) despise Californians for moving north and driving up the cost of living ("change your license plates fast"). Now that's become a familiar refrain in the Sacramento region with scowls to the west in the super high cost Bay Area.  

UP, DOWN OR SIDEWAYS: For CALmatters, Dan Walters--looking at data--asks whether the next California recession has already begun.


Probolsky Research


#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to Vanessa Cajina, Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, and Brian Micek!



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Governor Candidates Square Off Over Education At San Diego Forum
Paul Sisson @
Governor candidates square off over education at San Diego forum

Scott Defends Rushed Process To Finish Tax Bill - Politico

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott defended the rushed process for Senate Republicans to pass a wave of tax cuts on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, but admitted he didn't read the entire bill before voting on it.

California Assembly Hearing On Sexual Harassment Policies Leaves Unanswered Questions
Jazmine Ulloa @
California Assembly members held a special hearing this week in what they called a first step to overhauling how the chamber handles claims of sexual misconduct and harassment. The testimony revealed the chamber has an opaque process to report and investigate claims.

Mcconnell: 'there's Not Going To Be A Government Shutdown' - Politico

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell argued there was no "crisis" that would justify tying saving the so-called Dreamers to government funding. | J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

Vista Rally Calls For Law To Protect 'dreamers' - The San Diego Union-tribune
Teri Figueroa @

Brittny Mejia - La Times
Brittny Mejia is a Metro reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Previously, she worked at the Arizona Republic, the Arizona Daily Star and the Oakland Tribune, among other publications. She is a military brat who has lived all over, but calls Germany home. She graduated from the University of Arizona....

Mcconnell On Moore: 'i'm Going To Let The People Of Alabama Make The Call' - Politico

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said "the ethics committee will have to consider the matters that have been litigated in the campaign should that particular candidate win." | Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

Russia Probe Examining Possible Obstruction Of Justice, Feinstein Says - Sfgate
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said Sunday that her panel is focused on investigating possible obstruction of justice by President Trump.

Free Legal Clinic Assists Those Who Want To Reduce Or Expunge Marijuana Convictions
Tim Gee woke before dawn Saturday and donned a black three-piece suit with crimson tie. The Las Vegas resident then flew to Los Angeles, home to a past that still haunts him.

McConnell predicts unpopular tax bill will be a winning issue for GOP

Majority leader says voters will be feeling effects on the economy before next fall’s election.

Navy Aviators Disciplined Over Air Phallus After Coronado Hearing - The San Diego Union-tribune
Carl Prine @
The American military is going to fight the most powerful storm ever

Clinton Should Run For Cotton’s Senate Seat - Politico Magazine

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Next Step In GOP Tax Bill Unlikely To Deliver Help To California - San Francisco Chronicle
Now that the GOP-led Senate has passed a tax bill that will largely benefit the nation’s biggest companies and wealthiest people, the next step is to merge that version with what the House passed last month — and the version that emerges is unlikely to be much different for most residents of California.

Mobile Showers Set Up For Homeless Near Riverbed; Anaheim Says A Permit Is Needed – Orange County Register
ANAHEIM >> A trailer bearing two mobile showers and two portable toilets was set up by homeless advocates just across the street from the Santa Ana riverbed on Saturday, Dec. 2.

Trump Slams FBI, Justice Department - Politico

"But fear not, we will bring it back to greatness," President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter about the FBI's reputation. | Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images